Full Moon is Sunday, December 3 at 8:46AM Mountain Standard Time (MST).
‘This Super Moon is an opportunity for a good reality check and a time to tell the truth about what you know to be true, not what someone else tells you is true, but what you, yourself know. It is a good day to discuss and share dreams of the future, intentions, solutions to problems, and everything you can imagine for yourself. A full moon is always expansive. Use the expansiveness to fuel your imagination and creativity but do not get scattered.
As the theme for December is UPGRADE, this is also a good time to make an inventory of what you wish to upgrade. The decisions to change something in your life will use this full moon energy to take hold and begin the process. Try not to spend time in frustration or disappointment in self or others as you make your list. Be neutral. Negative feelings about what needs to change are never useful. Think instead about how fabulous the upgrade will be. Spend some time in nature today and begin putting some practices in place to open your senses.
Mercury has gone retrograde and it is best if you are fairly well organized with your schedule for the next three weeks (with room for flexibility of course).’
I have just three things to teach:
These are your greatest treasures.
compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world.
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
…when we tend our deepest center, we care for all souls. Another powerful way to realize our interconnectedness is to imagine the human family as a stand of Aspens growing by a river. Though each tree appears to be growing independently, not attached to the others, beneath the soil, out of view, the roots of all the trees exist as one enormous root. And so, like these trees, our soul’s growth, while appearing to be independent, is intimately connected to the health of those around us. For our spirits are entwined at center, out of view.
I know these things to be true: in cutting off strangers, we cut off ourselves; in choking roots, we choke our own growth; in loving strangers, we love ourselves.
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
‘Dad missed the wilderness. He need to be in roaming free in open country and living among untamed animals. He felt i was good for your should to have buzzards and coyotes and snakes around. That was the way man was meant to live, he’d say, in harmony with the wild, like t he Indians, not this lords-of-the-earth crap, trying to rule the entire goddamn planet, cutting down all the forest and killing every creature you couldn’t bring to heel.’
Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
So God created man in his own image…and God blessed them and God said unto them…replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have domino over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
The Bible’s literal interpretation continues to damage and destroy life.
I rise above the sense of separation into a consciousness of my union with [all living spirits.]
Science of Mind
‘It’s hard not to believe in magic when you know you live in a giant art gallery.’
In our natural state, we are:
Until Congress passes legislation to make Net Neutrality permanent, we must join as a national collective to keep the town square of the 21st century democratic and assessable to all citizens. Remember, this fight effects all other fights, e.g. tax reform, health care, freedom of information.
FROM F R E E P R E S S
Sign Up to Join #TeamInternet
The Trump administration and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai have joined forces with the biggest broadband providers to try to roll back our online rights. They want to destroy Net Neutrality — and we need to stop them.
We’re launching a bold plan to combine people power with technology to build an unstoppable volunteer grassroots network of Net Neutrality activists.
Together we’ll push back against threats to internet freedom.
Team Internet will be made up of people like you. We’ll provide you with insider campaign updates, access to organizers, connections to like-minded volunteers and the training and support to take your activism to the next level. Will you join #TeamInternet?
We see a future where we have the media and technology our communities want and need to answer hard questions, build collective power, and organize and advocate for the issues that matter. Together we can ensure the internet is a tool for our collective liberation.
We can win this fight. We have the facts, the law and the internet on our side — now we just need the right people to help make this plan a success.
The open internet is under attack, and we want you on the team to help protect it. Sign up to join #TeamInternet!
To join “Team Internet”, follow the link: http://act.freepress.net/signup/team_internet/?source=fptwitter
Here’s an easy to follow graph/flow chart to better understand the effects of Net Neutrality.
‘Older now, you find holiness in anything that continues.’
-Naomi Shihab Nye
‘The longer I wake on this Earth, the louder the quiet things speak to me. The more I experience and survive, the more I find truth in the commonalities we all share. The more pain softens me, the deeper my joy and the greater the lessons of those things that live in great stillness.’
‘As outraged as we might be at the sight of injustice, we must remain equally excited by the possibilities for a better world that lie on the other side of it. The enlightened activist is committed because we know that the other world exists and all of us are here to bring it forth.’
I, along with many Americans, have been posting about this for months, writing letters, calling, and emailing. And still weakening/eliminating Net Neutrality is moving forward…rapidly…with the announcement from the FCC today. We must keep trying to preserve freedom and access of information on the Internet. An email address is provided at the end of this post for you to contact FCC Chair Ajit Pai.
What is net neutrality? Why does it matter?
Net neutrality is the principle that Internet providers like Comcast & Verizon should not control what we see and do online. In 2015, startups, Internet freedom groups, and 3.7 million commenters won strong net neutrality rules from the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC). The rules prohibit Internet providers from blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization—”fast lanes” for sites that pay, and slow lanes for everyone else.
We are Team Internet. We support net neutrality, freedom of speech.
Nearly everyone who understands and depends on the Internet supports net neutrality, whether they’re startup founders, activists, gamers, politicians, investors, comedians, YouTube stars, or typical Internet users who just want their Internet to work as advertised—regardless of their political party. But don’t take our word for it. Ask around, or watch some of these videos.
I voted against Ajit Pai (DT appointed FCC Chair) for this very reason. If the FCC adopts this proposal, it will imperil the engine of California’s economy and the platform for our entrepreneurship and creativity.
@AjitPaiFCC, I’ve led teams creating innovative new tech on the Internet. Everyone who’s done so knows that killing net neutrality is bad for society — not just because it harms tech innovation, but because it compromises our civil rights.
It may already be too late to save
#NetNeutrality, but we’ve got to try. Call your congressperson, using the script here: https://www.battleforthenet.com And tell them to push the FCC commissioners to vote to save Net Neutrality on December 14.
@anildash not only destroys @AjitPaiFCC in this #thread but rightly points out the most grave danger of dismantling #NetNeutrality is how it will limit both civil rights and free speech. #SaveNetNeutrality
I stand with millions of American consumers, innovators, and entrepreneurs against
@AjitPaiFCC’s plot to gut #NetNeutrality. RT if you’re ready to resist this appalling attack on our free and open internet.
Kinda surprised at the lack of awareness in the
#NetNeutrality situation. This is pretty much the last push before everything changes for the worse or remains the same. There’s no benefit for consumers if it changes so it behooves you to fight for your internet rights.
Netflix supports strong
#NetNeutrality. We oppose the FCC’s proposal to roll back these core protections.
It’s this simple. NO ONE wins by killing
#NetNeutrality except mega corporations. Democracy dies in the shadow of information control.
If you don’t fight for
#NetNeutrality now, here are the questions you will ask later… Why is my internet so slow? Why is my bill so high? Why can’t I view this page? If you lose your mind because the internet is down or slow for 10 minutes, imagine if it was permanent.
If we repeal
#NetNeutrality then this is what it’s going to look like. This isn’t a left/right issue. This is a freedom issue. The internet is the one of the last things we have that isn’t controlled by the Gov. Don’t let them censor us
Update: Time is running out. Chairman Pai has released a draft order of his plan, that if adopted, would undo net neutrality. Make a call to Congress now to save net neutrality.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai plans to announce a vote on November 22 to allow major corporations – like Verizon and Comcast – the power to block mobile apps, slow websites, and even control which news outlets we can access. Hearing enough strong disapproval from Congress could persuade him to stall this disturbing plan.
Call your members of Congress today and tell them you oppose Chairman Pai’s plans to dismantle net neutrality.
Enter YOUR phone number (including area code). Make sure this phone is near you now. We’ll route your call to your members of Congress.
Charlie Rose. Glen Thrush. Al Franken. Donald Trump. Roy Moore. Mark Halperin. Harvey Weinstein.Bill Clinton. George H.W. Bush. Kevin Spacey. Louis C.K. Bill O’Reilly. And so many more.
Women: please run for office.
BuzzFeed: ‘One-third of black men will go to prison at least once in their lifetime.
The Invisible Character of White Privilege
by Richard Rohr
Because we have never been on the other side, we largely do not recognize the structural access we enjoy, the trust we think we deserve, the assumption that we always belong and do not have to earn our belonging. All this we take for granted as normal. Only the outsider can spot these attitudes in us.
Of course, we all belong. There is no issue of more or less in the eyes of an Infinite God. Yet the ego believes the lie that there isn’t enough to go around and that for me to succeed or win, someone else must lose. And so we’ve greedily supported systems and governments that work to our own advantage at the expense of others, most often people of color or any highly visible difference. The white man’s easy advancement was too often at the cost of others not advancing at all. A minor history course should make that rather clear.
I would have never seen my own white privilege if I had not been forced outside of my dominant white culture by travel, by working in the jail, by hearing stories from counselees, and frankly, by making a complete fool of myself in so many social settings—most of which I had the freedom to avoid! Recognition was slow in coming. I am not only white, but I am male, overeducated, clergy (from cleros, “the separated ones”), a Catholic celibate, mostly healthy, and part of the American empire.
Power never surrenders without a fight. If your entire life has been to live unquestioned in your position of power—a power that was culturally given to you, but you think you earned—there is almost no way you will give it up without major failure, suffering, humiliation, or defeat. As long as we really want to be on top and would take advantage of any privilege or short cut to get us there (what exactly is it that is up there?), we will never experience true “liberty, equality, fraternity” (revolutionary ideals that endure as mottos for France and Haiti).
To repeat, if God operates as me, God operates as thee too, and the playing field is utterly leveled forever. Like Jesus, Francis, Clare, and many other humble mystics, we then rush down instead of up. In the act of letting go and choosing to become servants, community can at last be possible. The illusory state of privilege just gets in the way of neighboring and basic human friendship.
Richard Rohr, an American Franciscan friar ordained to the priesthood in 1970. He is a known inspirational speaker and a author.
The Center for Action and Contemplation began as a dream of Fr. Richard Rohr’s in 1986 during his first year in Albuquerque. By October of 1987, the first edition of Radical Grace was published. The name was chosen because it expressed the paradoxical nature of the Center’s purpose: standing in a middle place, at the center of the cross, where opposites are held together. [wikipedia]
Science’s Next Frontier? It’s Civic Engagement
by Louise Lief
‘…scientists’ problems run deeper. According to a number of recent surveys, there has been a rapid decline in knowledge about and sympathy for scientists and the institutions where many of them work, particularly among Republican and Republican-leaning voters. Politicians from the same party who now govern in over 32 states, the White House, and Congress are aware of these sentiments.
These developments point to an urgent need for the scientific community to rethink the enterprise and reintroduce science to the public as a trusted, non-partisan civic actor, a collaborator that can help communities address their problems, and partners in a dialogue where each party brings its unique lived experiences to the table. Scientists need to create more portals to the public, and the citizen science community may be best situated to lead this transformation.
There is evidence that the public is hungry for such exchanges. When Research!America asked the public in 2016 how important is it for scientists to inform elected officials and the public about their research and its impact on society, 84 percent said it was very or somewhat important — a number that ironically mirrors the percentage of Americans who cannot name a scientist.
Recently, I have focused on civic engagement, studying how communities try to identify and address collective problems and apply collaborative problem solving. There is a central role for scientists in this effort.
To better introduce themselves to the public, it makes sense for scientists to work with civic institutions the public already trusts. Arizona State University’s efforts to partner with local public libraries is one such step that helps root citizen science programs in communities, creating a natural alliance of knowledge seekers, science, and public engagement, and establishing community feedback loops. (Full disclosure, Cavalier is the PI of this initiative, supported by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.)
Scientists need to be present at these tables, and practice those deep listening skills. At a minimum you will meet new people and gain new insights. But you may also make valuable new connections, find new collaborators, and most important of all, forge stronger bonds with your community. Don’t underestimate the power of the data you collect and create to impact community decision making.
News note: During the height of the Cold War, Esalen launched the Soviet-American Exchange Program, and a series of Soviet-American citizen diplomacy gatherings, organized by Michael and Dulce Murphy and others. At these meetings held at Esalen, Joseph Montville coined the phrase “track-two diplomacy”, which is now a well-recognized diplomatic method. This work led to the first spacebridges which enabled Soviet and American citizens to speak directly with one another via satellite communication, along with multiple other projects. The following article was written by Joseph Montville for Stratfor Enterprises, LLC and republished with their permission.
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev recently wrote an op-ed that, amid the many conflicts brewing around the globe today, recalls an era of diplomacy worth revisiting. In the Oct. 11 column, he expressed fear that the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty he signed with former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in December 1987 is at risk of collapse. Though 80 percent of the nuclear weapons that the United States and the Soviet Union accumulated during the Cold War have been decommissioned and destroyed, and both sides have complied with the deal’s strategic weapons clauses, the INF faces stiff opposition in each country today.
“Track two diplomacy is a process designed to assist official leaders to resolve or, in the first instance, to manage conflicts by exploring solutions out of public view and without requirements to formally negotiate or bargain for advantage. Track two diplomacy seeks political formulas or scenarios which might satisfy the basic security and esteem needs of the parties to a particular dispute. On its more general level, it seeks to promote an environment in a political community, through the education of public opinion, that would make it safer for political leaders to take risks for peace.”
Treading Where Diplomats Cannot
As today’s headlines make clear, the American public is becoming increasingly concerned that Trump’s policies on North Korea could precipitate a disastrous conventional war capable of destroying Seoul and its millions of citizens, along with tens of thousands of Americans living in South Korea. Many worry that Japan, too, may become a target of Pyongyang’s short-range nuclear missiles.
In an Oct. 22 interview, Carter showed some sympathy for Trump while reiterating his recent offer to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The former president has a history of intervening in tense conflicts. He went to North Korea in 1994 to head off a potential war, reportedly annoying then-President Bill Clinton. Later that year, he persuaded Haiti’s leaders (this time with Clinton’s approval) to peacefully leave the country in order to fend off a U.S. invasion. Of course, Carter has never felt bound by strict instructions from the White House if he believes they reduce the chances of a peaceful resolution to conflict. His chief focus is eliminating violence; that’s the way he is.
North Korea has already been the subject of many Track Two initiatives, even if the North Korean participants in those talks could never be considered unofficial. According to journalist M.J. Zuckerman’s major cover story “Track II Diplomacy: Averting Disaster,” published in 2005, the Carnegie Corporation of New York supported several “Track 1.5″ meetings that eventually yielded a deal to resume formal negotiations among the six-party nuclear group made up of North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States.
I now realize that properly done Track Two does not seek to ‘get in the way’ of Track One diplomacy, as those in office sometimes fear, but rather to complement it, often by going to places where Track One is unable to tread and by tackling subjects it cannot approach.”
In January 1898, the famous author Emile Zola wrote a stinging indictment of French leadership and its embrace of anti-Semitism for political ends. The scourge was, he wrote, a moral outrage, with powerful men embracing a deeply harmful, and potentially violent, ideology for short-term political gain.
Titled “J’accuse,” Zola’s public letter to the president of the republic – the immediate cause of which was to protest the military leadership’s anti-Semitic attacks on an officer named Dreyfus – still stands, more than a century later, as the gold standard for public intellectuals seeking to hold morally bankrupt political figures to account.
“What a cesspool of folly and foolishness, what preposterous fantasies, what corrupt police tactics, what inquisitorial, tyrannical practices!” Zola opined. “What petty whims of a few higher-ups trampling the nation under their boots, ramming back down their throats the people’s cries for truth and justice, with the travesty of state security as a pretext.”
I ACCUSE YOU, DONALD TRUMP, OF USING FEAR TO DIVIDE NEIGHBOR FROM NEIGHBOR. I ACCUSE YOU OF PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE WITH AMERICA’S PRESENT STANDING AND ITS FUTURE POSITION IN THE WORLD. I ACCUSE YOU OF USING YOUR OCCUPANCY OF THE WHITE HOUSE NOT TO IN ANY CONCEIVABLE WAY IMPROVE THE GENERAL WELL BEING, BUT TO FURTHER YOUR NARCISSISTIC, VAIN, AND CRUEL FANTASIES.
During the election campaign, I attempted my own “j’accuse,” for the progressive web site Truthout, detailing the numerous ways in which candidate Trump was committing a form of moral treason – stoking up fears and hatreds that would be impossible to contain once unleashed. During that election season, Trump accused Mexican migrants of being drug peddlers and rapists, talked of banning all Muslims from entering the country, fueled rage against journalists and used crude racist and sexist rhetoric whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Since the election, Trump’s behavior has only gotten more appalling. We now have the grotesque, almost pornographic, spectacle of the most powerful man on earth using his platform to urge police forces to beat up suspects. Using his platform to denigrate immigrants as “animals” who like to torture young women. Using his platform to marshal the forces of the federal government against refugees.
Using his platform to personally attack private citizens. Using his platform to promote his nepotistic, almost Mafia-like web of family and business and political interests. Using his platform to attack programs that encourage racial and economic diversity in colleges.
Using his platform to hold Nuremberg-styled rallies using barely adolescent Boy Scouts as a background prop – a spectacle as creepy, and as redolent of insecurity, as that of a grown man boasting of his sexual exploits to gain street cred with a gaggle of awkward middle school kids.
Using his platform to urge states to make it ever harder for poor, especially nonwhite, Americans to access the ballot box. And most recently, allowing the North Korean leadership to draw him into a potentially apocalyptic, public game of nuclear bluff.
I could, of course, go on. But it is for unsavory lists like this that the convenient phrase “etc.” was invented.
Trump, in his full-fledged bullying, scaremongering, blustering cretinitude, is not just “un-presidential,” whatever that somewhat nebulous phrase means. He is actively and aggressively unhumane.
He scorns empathy and humility as weakness, curiosity about other cultures as effeteness, and actively embraces a might-is-right rhetoric (witness his snarling speeches in September 2016 and again a week after his inauguration in which he argued that America should have seized Iraqi oil, telling his audience “to the victors belong the spoils”) last employed in “the western world” that he claims to be saving from barbarian hordes by the expansionist Nazi regime from 1933-1945.
He has surrounded himself, domestically, by sycophants and propagandists who can serve as props to his fragile narcissism – witness the extraordinary spectacle of his first full cabinet meeting, much of which was taken up in outlandish expressions of praise for the president; and, internationally, by dictatorial buddies such as Erdogan, El-Sisi and Duterte, who are as far from embodying liberal, enlightenment values as are any modern-day leaders on earth.
Were Trump just a temporary distraction, one could perhaps choose to ignore him, or to minimize his importance by presenting him simply as a bizarre, reality-TV, outlier. A plastic president for a plastic age.
But there’s nothing temporary about Trump’s project. His vision, as laid out in his sickening “American carnage” inauguration speech, is to fundamentally reshape America as a nasty, brutish, ethno-nationalist citadel. I doubt that in the long run he will succeed in achieving this, not least because in addition to being a monstrous narcissist he is also chronically, dementedly, cartoonishly inept. Trump, the uncouth and uncultured businessman-president is, quite simply, a fiasco of a manager.
But what this Joker-like figure is far more likely to accomplish is the permanent wrecking of America’s unique status as the “indispensable nation” serving as glue for a liberal, pluralist, open international order. What he is far more likely to preside over is a permanent reduction in America’s global standing, as populations the world over look at his behavior and his actions and his values, look at the chaos he has unleashed, and the politics of fear that he has ridden to power in the United States, and turn their backs in contempt and shock.
And that is why I say, again, “j’accuse.” I accuse you, Donald Trump, of using fear to divide neighbor from neighbor. I accuse you of playing Russian roulette with America’s present standing and its future position in the world.
I accuse you of using your occupancy of the White House not to in any conceivable way improve the general well being, but to further your narcissistic, vain, and cruel fantasies. You are a morally puny man, Donald Trump, a bloated fellow who feels big only by making others feel small.
You puff up your chest and urge the police to beat up suspects, and urge the military to show no mercy on the enemy, and urge intelligence agents to torture those thought to be terrorists, not because any of this this will really make America safer but because in your twisted understanding of the world strength is shown only through violence.
And I say “j’accuse,” too, to the GOP leaders in Congress and in statehouses around the country who know exactly how toxic and unstable Trump is, yet continue to tolerate his banalities and his politics of fear in order to get their way on tax cuts, deregulation and judicial appointments.
Shame on the whole sorry lot of you. In tolerating a madman in office, you are permanently diminishing the country, you are scarifying its vital democratic edifice, you are coarsening the culture and playing havoc with the lives of millions of vulnerable people. The history books are never kind to men and women of such craven attitude. You are collaborators in Trump’s vile passion play.
SASHA ABRAMSKY’S 2013 BOOK,“THE AMERICAN WAY OF POVERTY,’ WAS LISTED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES AS ONE OF THE 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF THE YEAR. HIS NEW BOOK,”JUMPING AT SHADOWS: THE TRIUMPH OF FEAR AND THE END OF THE AMERICAN DREAM,” WILL BE PUBLISHED BY NATION BOOKS IN SEPTEMBER. HE CAN BE REACHED AT SABRAMSKY@SBCGLOBAL.NET.
The theme for this new moon is creating positive change out of challenging circumstances.
Anything that has been a hardship for you, and can be seen as a negative experience, can be used as a powerful agent to shift into something new. This is a new moon and will support anything new. Take the pieces of the old, whether an old dream, an old life, or challenging lesson, and use the power of those experiences to fuel what wants to emerge from the ashes.
It is a time where healing that comes from a shift in attitude and reaction is on the table. We may be triggered again, the same way were were during the time of the eclipse (actual trigger point on November 20). So take advantage of the opportunity to reset what needs it. As you turn the soil of our life, focus more on the gifts and inspiration you are discovering that what you regret or feel bad about. Do a practice every day from now until the solicit on December 21st of dreaming an improved life.
Set in the rural American South during World War II, Dee Rees’ Mudbound is an epic story of two families pitted against one another by a ruthless social hierarchy, yet bound together by the shared farmland of the Mississippi Delta. Mudbound follows the McAllan family, newly transplanted from the quiet civility of Memphis and unprepared for the harsh demands of farming. Despite the grandiose dreams of Henry, his wife Laura struggles to keep the faith in her husband’s losing venture. Meanwhile, Hap and Florence Jackson – sharecroppers who have worked the land for generations – struggle bravely to build a small dream of their own despite the rigidly enforced social barriers they face. The war upends both families’ plans as their returning loved ones, Jamie McAllan and Ronsel Jackson, forge a fast but uneasy friendship that challenges the brutal realities of the Jim Crow South in which they live.
‘It is essential to realize and embrace the paradox that while no one can go through your journey for you, you are not alone. Everyone is on the same journey. Everyone shares the same pains, the same confusions, the same fears, which if put out between us, lose their edges and so cut us less.’ -Mark Nepo
‘There’s a sun in every person–the you we call companion.‘ -Rumi
We are now perched on a strange cusp of history, a time when the world feels like it’s been turned upside down, and nothing is quite as we imagined. But uncertainty is always a precursor to sweeping change; transformation is always preceded by upheaval and fear. I urge you to place your faith in the human capacity for creativity and love, because these forces, when combined, possess the power to illuminate any darkness.
The price of greatness is…responsibility.
May our philosophies keep pace with our technologies. May our compassion keep pace with our powers. And many love, not fear, be the engine of change.
Love is from another realm. We cannot manufacture it on demand. Nor can we subdue it when it appears. Love is not our choice to make.
Love is not a finite emotion.
We don’t have only so much to share.
Our hearts create love as we need it.
We must become a spiritual partner of science, using our vast experience-millennia of philosophy, personal inquiry, mediation, soul-searching-to help humanity build a moral framework and ensure that the coming technologies will unify, illuminate, and raise us up…rather than destroy us.
︶⁀°• •° ⁀︶
[Loved this book. If ‘Da Vinci Code’ was my Alpha, ‘Origin’ is my omega. Recommend highly in the context of our contemporary polarized, tribal, fear-based culture. Can’t wait for the film!]
‘May the eyes of your heart transfigure the world with love.’
I arise in the morning torn between a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it.
Bodhisattvas live in compassionate service to humanity.
Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit word for those who are committed to the spiritual awakening; we postpone our personal enlightenment to aid others in reaching it first.
Living in compassion and service is is in ‘complete contrast to the excessive individualism of some cultures.
Bodhisattvas believe happiness comes from tending to those who are suffering, helping them overcome their despair.
What can we do when we hear the news of poverty, inequity, war, terror, injustices or environmental destruction? It is easy to slip into despair and go numb.
Bodhisattva philosophy and living invites us to turn toward instead of turning away from the pain.
To begin, we learn to quiet our mind and find the peace that resides in our collective hearts. Only when there is peace on the inside can we bring the benefit of this to the outside world. We are not separate, but are interconnected and interdependent with all beings.
Life is suffering. (Buddhism) And happiness often comes of being devoted to the well-being of others.
We need not be a Kuan Yin, a St. Francis of Assisi, a Mother Teresa or the Dalai Lama. Simply, being congruent with our outer actions in alignment, or balance, with our inner desires, we able to be a blessing to the people we are with, and situations we find ourselves living in.
[Science of Mind Magazine/November]
VETERAN’S DAY 2017
Action without a name, a ‘who attached to it, is meaningless.’
‘Eduard Kornfeld was born in 1929 near Bratislava, Slovakia. He was taken to Auschwitz and several other concentration camps. On April 29, 1945 he was freed by American troops from the Dachau camp in Germany, weighing only 60…’
‘The future is heart-based.’
‘I shall permit only that which is loving, kind, and true to find entrance…’
-Science of Mind
[Shared by the Aspen Institute]
Ben Schreckinger had just experienced the dinner most journalists would die for — especially in light of recent events — and still he was seriously considering law school.
The intrepid young reporter had spent the summer of 2013 as a fellow of the GroundTruth Project, a program to provide young journalists with foreign experience. In Schreckinger’s case, that meant traveling north up the Burma Road through Myanmar to report on the country’s reopening. Yet even as Schreckineger and his fellows were sharing a meal with freedom fighter–turned–lawmaker and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, he remained undecided — until GroundTruth founders Charles Sennott and Kevin Grant found him in the hotel pool later that night.
The nonprofit GroundTruth Project is devoted to narrative storytelling around the world. Its new offshoot, Report for America, is designed to reignite local journalism in the U.S.
“We were talking over a beer and Charlie made me promise that I would give journalism two more years,” Shreckinger, the political correspondent for GQ magazine, tells OZY. “I said, a year — that I would do another year.” It took two before Schreckinger went to Politico, where he covered the Trump campaign and then wrote for the publication’s magazine — and he still took the Law School Admission Test. But in the end, “I owe it all to that promise I made to Charlie in that pool in Burma.”
Now Sennott and Grant, former editors of the news website GlobalPost, want future Schrekingers in places like Youngstown rather than Yangon. Starting in early 2018, Report for America, a spin-off of the GroundTruth Project, plans to grant about 1,000 early-career journalists fellowships over the next five years to work for depleted news organizations in undercovered regions of the U.S. Think Teach for America with a press pass.
THE AD-SUPPORTED, FOR-PROFIT MODEL FOR JOURNALISM IS ON ITS WAY OUT — 95 CENTS OF EVERY [AD] DOLLAR SPENT IS GOING TO GOOGLE OR FACEBOOK.
KEVIN GRANT, REPORT FOR AMERICA EXECUTIVE EDITOR
“Although the shrinking of newsrooms is primarily financially driven, even when local newsrooms do have the budget to hire, they have a tough time recruiting and retaining talent,” Grant says. “Our DNA is global — we’ve been pursuing the big stories around the world — but last year around election time we realized our own country was in crisis. Much as the way we would respond to a crisis in Egypt, we needed to respond to the one in the U.S.”
Hammered by the decline of print advertising, local and regional newspapers have been hemorrhaging jobs for years. A 2015 study by the American Society of News Editors reported that there were 32,900 journalists at nearly 1,400 daily newspapers — a 10.4 percent one-year decline, and down from a peak of 56,900 in 1990. (In the past two years, ASNE declined to release employment figures because of a lack of reliable data.) The remaining jobs, and new ones from digital outlets, are concentrated in coastal cities: The share of American reporting jobs that were in New York, Washington and Los Angeles went from 1 in 8 in 2004 to 1 in 5 in 2014, according to federal government figures. Even in New York, local journalism took a significant blow last week when popular websites DNAinfo, Gothamist and their offshoots were shut down by billionaire owner Joe Ricketts, in part because the journalists voted to join a union.
“The ad-supported, for-profit model for journalism is on its way out — 95 cents of every [ad] dollar spent is going to Google or Facebook,” Grant says. “We found this with GlobalPost before GroundTruth and have the personal experience, as well as the personal sting.” GroundTruth’s solution to keep emptying newsroom cubicles full? Foundation money.
GroundTruth started as a nonprofit division of GlobalPost in 2011. In 2015 — the year after its correspondent James Foley was beheaded by ISIS terrorists in Syria — GlobalPost was acquired by Boston public media producer WGBH. Public Radio International and other public journalism brands started picking up stories from GroundTruth, which is backed by the likes of the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the Henry Luce Foundation.
While GroundTruth publishes on international platforms, Report for America is locally driven. It will connect young, aspiring journalists with newsrooms that request the help. RFA will pay half of a fellow’s $40,000 salary package, with the newsroom and local donors picking up the rest. The fellow will work in the local newsroom for one year; the newsroom picks up more of the tab if it keeps the journalist longer.
ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative news site, and other organizations have started similar partnerships. ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network funds salary and benefits for reporters at up to six partner news organizations in cities with populations of less than 1 million.
Substantial questions remain about whether this model is sustainable. More than half of Teach for America recruits leave their initial placements in low-income schools after two years, and only 14 percent remain in their original schools by their fifth year. RFA’s backers don’t proclaim that they will save journalism, just as Teach for America can’t save education and the Peace Corps hasn’t brought about global unity. But GroundTruth did save both Schreckinger and Qainat Khan from law school.
Khan, a native of Tanzania who bailed on Northeastern Law after a year, is now on the road with GroundTruth’s Crossing the Divide project, assisting five early-career journalists from five states to report stories related to a larger national theme. “Local journalism is like providing a public service, and for me, it’s about doing meaningful work — to encounter people I would have never had a reason to encounter,” Khan says. “I’m not an economist and I don’t deal with the business side. But it makes sense to share the risk and share the cost. Perhaps collaboration will save local newsrooms. Otherwise, who are you competing with? It’s like a race to the bottom.”